Dewey project lawsuit halted
A Chancery Court judge has thrown out a lawsuit aimed at stopping Ruddertowne, a collection of waterfront bars and eateries in Dewey Beach, from growing into a controversial resort hotel complex.
Court Vice Chancellor John W. Noble ruled Thursday that the Dewey Beach property owners who filed the lawsuit waited too long and missed the deadline for doing so.
The decision allows the redevelopment of Ruddertowne by owner Dewey Beach Enterprises to move ahead. The plans call for a mixed-use structure that will include a hotel, condominiums, restaurants, retail shops and banquet rooms.
Controversy over the sprawling resort’s ambitions has for years been a bedrock issue in Dewey Beach politics, with groups forming on each side – Friends of Dewey in favor of the project, Citizens to Preserve Dewey against – and candidates for office making their views on Ruddertowne central to their campaigns.
Two candidates backed by the anti-redevelopment groups, Anna Legates and Joy Howell, won seats on the town council last fall, joining mayor Diane Hanson, who had cast a vote against the Ruddertowne plan when the rest of the council approved it. They gathered support from voters who felt the the town’s bars and restaurants were too big, too loud and too politically powerful.
In response, business owners complained the anti-redevelopment groups harbored hostility toward the most successful businesses in town. One restauranteur, Alex Pires, openly banned Howell from his businesses, including the Bottle & Cork and Northbeach.
The reactions to Thursday’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit reflected the strong feelings on both sides.
Denise Campbell, president of the Friends of Dewey group, said she expected a redeveloped Ruddertowne will be a boon to Dewey Beach.
“It brings additional tourism to Dewey, which is the lifeblood of Dewey,” Campbell said.
Linda Winton, a member of the Ruddertowne-opposed Citizens to Preserve Dewey, said she was disheartened by the ruling
Re: Dewey project lawsuit halted
sounds like the anti's are hating on the owners. that never plays out well for the anti's....
the owners, especially Pires, will do well with this.....money talks people.
i also agree that it probably would help dewey.